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We all know that famous phrase - I came for the politics and stayed for the community.  
And that describes exactly how I feel about Daily Kos.  I stumbled on it from Talking Points Memo two and a half years ago when I was politically naive and passionate about learning.  I was originally very impressed with the quality of the diaries and the infomation therein and every day when I logged on felt like a kid in a candy store with all this knowledge.

And caring.  This was in the time of exmearden and her devestating cancer.  And her most touching diaries - brilliantly written and brutally honest.  We became facebook friends and I eagerly awaited any news of or from her.  I was here at the end of her life, as well, and suffered many tears over her death.

I was also following Kitsap River's kidney woes.  We became friends as well and still talk on the phone.  As much as I cried over exmearden, I rejoiced when Kitsap got her new kidney and it began functioning.  Some of the most beautiful diaries I have read were written by Kitsap, re her suffering and her joy.

I was here when there was a fund-raiser for Sara r to get a gall bladder operation.  If I remember correctly, we all donated to the tune of around eighteen thousand for her hospital bill, without which Sara would not have had surgery.  I was stunned that a group of strangers would donate that much money so someone could get an operation.  That was before I knew how important Sara was to this community.

Those were some of the original reasons I stayed - for the love and caring that seemed to emanate from all Kossacks.  And then there came my own personal benefits.

I am a member of House of Lights, being a child abuse survivor.  When I was a tiny child of less than two I believe, my mother's brother-in-law, my uncle began molesting me.  When I was thirteen I was raped by my biological father.  At age twenty-two while at work in Atlanta, I was robbed and raped by a man with a gun at my head.  Needless to say I have experienced many years of therapy to try and overcome the feelings of fear and helplessness I have from these perpetrators.  The diaries that are written by my fellow House of Lights sisters and brothers have also been a tremendous help in being able to make terms with my past.  As well as a few diaries I have written to help me overcome and triumph.  It has helped immensely.

About a year ago my daughter's husband's, with whom I live,  truck broke down.  A semi.  He's an over-the-road truck driver and that provides our livelihood.  It had been a rough winter and we had no cushion.  I also have custody of my ten year old grandson from another daughter and we have a seventeen year old foster daughter.  She is what's known as fith kin, so we get no support for her.  Not that we want it, but to further explain the direness of our circumstances.  Both Sara r and I wrote diaries about our utilities being cut off and having no money to fix the truck and generous souls in this community donated enough money to get us back on our feet and going again.

Some of you already know I had total knee replacement surgery the 19th of December.  Ten days later they redid the surgery due to an infection.  Ten days after that I was readmitted to the hospital with my leg being as swollen as an elephant's, also being very red and extremely painful.  At five-thirty the next morning I coded and died and thankfully there was a nurse's aide in the room who yelled that I was coding and they brought me back to life and I was on life support for three days after that.

Well, Nurse Kelley wrote a diary after my daughter told her what happened and people commented with prayers, lit candles and meditations.  I cannot tell you how many comments there were, and though I had no knowledge at the time of what was happening, I believe that at some level the love and kindness was reaching me and I was able to recuperate.  

And because of that, Sara r made a most beautiful love-catcher quilt for me.  Again, the messages uplifted me and there were loads of them.  I read them every night before I go to sleep and they give me healing energy.  There is so much love that went into that quilt and I adore every bit of it.

And, as much therapy as I  have had, I believe Nurse Kelley's diary and the love-catcher quilt, have have healed me.  I finally, for the first timein my sixty-eight years know I am lovable and loved. There's something about having one's funeral so to speak to find out how people really feel about you.

I have written this diary as I recently read a TTFN diary by someone was was insulted by a fellow Kossack due to gun control arguments.  I'm sorry that person was offended by a comment and sorry that perhaps the commenter wasn't as polite as they could have been, but this community is so much bigger than little spats.  We are like brothers and sisters in a family and all families argue and have their weaknesses.  This community is no different.  I just wish sometimes people would think more clearly about what's going on an not leave.  Not a TTFN or a GBCW.  We all have so much to offer each other.  I believe all the good outweighs the negative.  As I said before, I'm stying for the community and all the love and kindness that lies herein.  Thanks for reading and have a happy day.  rachel

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